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  F-4-1-LO Lightning Serial Number A55-1  
RAAF
1 PRU
Former Assignments
1 AD

Pilot ¬†Flt Lt Alan Thomas Cridland, 260424 (KIA, BR) Edgecliff, NSW
MIA  November 20, 1942


Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Construction Number 5376. At the Lockheed Factory, converted from a P-38E Lightning into a F4-1 photographic reconnaissance version. Delivered to the U. S. Army with serial number 41-2158. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). On August 31, 1942 received by 1 AD at Laverton Field. On October 15, 1942 assigned to 1 PRU. On October 30, 1942 took off from Laverton Airfield with F-4 Lightning A55-2 on a ferry flight to Hughes Field (30 Mile). On November 19, 1942 unserviceable for repairs and repaired by the end of the year.

During January 1943, this F-4 Lightning began flying photographic reconnaissance missions from Coomalie Creek Field. On January 2, 1942 took off piloted by F/O P.B. Sinnott on a reconnaissance flight. With missions on January 3 piloted by Flt Lt C.C. Lawrie and January 5 piloted by Flt Lt W.H.S. Talberg and January 14 piloted by Flt Lt C.C. Lawrie. Afterwards, unservicable due to the failure of the left supercharger.

On February 12, 1943 flown by Flt Lt C.C. Lawrie to 1 AD at Laverton Field for a 240 hour inspection. Afterwards, on March 24, 1943 flown by Flt Lt P. B. Sinnott to Coomalie Creek Field.

On March 28, 1943 took off piloted by Flt Lt P. B. Sinnott on a photographic reconnaissance of Dili and returned with engine problems. On March 31, 1943 took off piloted by Flt Lt P. B. Sinnott on a photographic reconnaissance of Penfoei and returned with a intercooler and supercharger.

On April 21, 1943 took off piloted by Sqn Ldr L.W. Law on a photo recce over Fuiloro. On April 24, took off piloted by Flt Lt P. B. Sinnott on a photo recce over Dili. On April 25 took off piloted by Flt Lt C. C. Lawrie on a photo recce over North Goulbourne Island.

26APR43 Photography Cape Helvetius, Flt Lt F. Robilliard.
27APR43 Photo recce Atamboea, Flt Lt C.C. Lawrie.
28APR43 Survey flight of Timor, Sqn Ldr W.L. Law. Aircraft unserviceable.
29APR43 Survey flight of Timor, Flt Lt W.H.S. Talberg. Weather unfavourable. Afterwards, unserviceable due to a rough-running engine.

03MAY43 Photo recce Gaumlaki, Alilit & Seframat, Flt Lt F. Robilliard. Weather unsuitable.
06MAY43 Photography Wessel Island, Flt Lt F. Robilliard.
11MAY43 Survey of Portuguese Timor, Flt Lt P.B. Sinnott. Weather unsuitable.
13MAY43 Survey of Portuguese Timor, Flt Lt F. Robilliard. Weather unsuitable.
24MAY43 Survey of Portuguese Timor, Flt Lt P.B. Sinnott. Weather unsuitable.
29MAY43 Photo recce Dili and Fuiloro, Flt Lt W.H.S. Talberg. Weather unsuitable.

On August 19, 1943 transfered to 14 ARD for a 240 hour inspection and afterwards transfered to 1 AD for overhaul and November 5, 1943 issued to the U. S. Army Air Force at Garbutt Field for a complete overhaul.

On January 10, 1944 damaged on the ground at Coomalie Creek Field due to high winds that caused the aircraft to slip from the chocks and roll into a drain causing structural damage to the airframe. Afterwards, on January 12, 1944 assigned to 4 RSU for repairs.

On May 16, 1944 to the 5th Air Force, No. 2 Depot for 240 hour inspection and replacement of both engines. On July 2, 1944 assigned to Eagle Farm Field then to Garbutt Field then returned to Eagle Farm Field on August 15, 1944.

Mission History
On September 1, 1944 took off from Coomalie Creek Field, while landing the right undercarriage collapsed on landing damaging the Lightning beyond repair and causing a fire. The pilot survived without serious injuries.

Wreckage
On September 12, 1944 recieved by 8 CRD and on September 26 approved for conversion to compents and scrapped.

References
ADF Serials - Lockheed Lightning A55-1
The Lockheed File - A55-1, A55-2, A55-3

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Last Updated
September 26, 2018

 

Tech Info
F-4
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